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John L. Sullivan Trucker Hat
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  • Trucker Hat: Front
About this product
Style: Trucker Hat

Looking to cheer your team, promote your brand, or simply keep the sun out of your eyes? Our custom hats are the perfect way to meet all these needs and more. Customize the front with a logo, design, or text and create an essential accessory that you will never leave behind!

  • Adjustable from 17" to 24"
  • 100% polyester foam front
  • Wide area to feature your design
  • 100% nylon mesh back keeps you cool
  • Available in 11 color combinations
Recommended for ages 13+
About this design
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John L. Sullivan Trucker Hat
John Lawrence Sullivan (October 15, 1858 – February 2, 1918) is widely recognized as boxing's first modern world heavyweight champion (Compton's Encyclopedia, 1960). ----------------------- He was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts (now a part of Boston) to Irish emigrant parents, Michael Sullivan from Abbeydorney, County Kerry and the former Catherine Kelly from Athlone, County Westmeath. Sullivan was nicknamed The Boston Strongboy. As a he was arrested several times for participating in bouts where the sport was outlawed, and he went on exhibition tours offering people money to fight him. In 1879, he challenged anyone in America to fight him for $500. -------------------------------- In 1883 - 1884 Sullivan went on a coast-to-coast tour by train with five other boxers. It was scheduled to comprise 195 performances in 136 different cities and towns over 238 days. To help promote the tour, Sullivan announced that he would box anyone at any time during the tour under the Queensberry Rules for $250. It has been claimed he knocked out about 30 men during the tour, but there is no proof to back this claim.-------------------------In Sullivan's era, no formal boxing titles existed. He became a champion after defeating Paddy Ryan in Mississippi City on February 7, 1882. Modern authorities have retroactively labelled Ryan the "Heavyweight Champion of America", but he could certainly be considered as much a "world champion" as Sullivan. Depending on the modern authority, Sullivan was first considered world heavyweight champion either in 1888 when he fought Charley Mitchell in France, or the following year when he knocked out Jake Kilrain in round 75 of a scheduled 80-round bout. But in truth, neither match was considered at the time to be about determining a world heavyweight champion. -------------------------- When the modern authorities talk of the heavyweight championship of the world, they are probably referring to the championship belt presented to Sullivan in Boston on August 8, 1887. The belt was inscribed Presented to the Champion of Champions, John L. Sullivan, by the Citizens of the United States. Its centerpiece featured the flags of the US, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. ------------------------------ Mitchell came from Birmingham, England and fought Sullivan in 1883, knocking him down in the first round. Their second meeting took place in 1888 on the grounds of a chateau at Chantilly, France in driving rain. It went on for more than two hours, at the end of which both men were unrecognisable and had suffered much loss of blood; neither could lift his arms to punch and the contest was considered a draw. The local gendarmerie arrived at this point and managed to arrest Mitchell, who spent the next few days in a cell and was later fined by the local magistrate, boxing being illegal in France at that time. Sullivan managed to evade the law, swathed in bandages, and was taken back across the English Channel to spend the next few weeks convalescing in Liverpool. Mitchell acted as Sullivan's corner man for many years after.----------The Kilrain fight is considered to be a turning point in boxing history because it was the last world title bout fought under the London Prize Ring rules and therefore the last bare-knuckle heavyweight title bout. -------------------- For the first time, newspapers carried extensive pre-fight coverage, reporting on the fighters' training and speculating on where the bout would take place. The center of activity was New Orleans, but the governor of Louisiana had forbidden the fight in that state. Sullivan had trained for months in Belfast, New York under trainer William Muldoon, whose biggest problem had been keeping Sullivan from liquor. --------------------------- Rochester reporter Arch Merrill commented that occasionally Sullivan would "escape" from his guard, and the cry was heard in the village, "John L. is loose again. Send for Muldoon!" Muldoon would snatch the champ away from the bar and take him back to their training camp. On July 7, 1889 an estimated 3000 spectators boarded special trains for the secret location, which turned out to be Richburg, a town just south of Hattiesburg. The fight began at 10:30 the following morning, and it looked as if Sullivan was going to lose, especially after he vomited during the 44th round. But the champion got his second wind after that, and Kilrain's manager finally threw in the towel after the 75th round. ----------------------------- Undefeated at that point, Sullivan did not defend his title for the next four years, becoming unfit. He finally agreed to defend his title in 1892, losing to "Gentleman Jim" Corbett in 21 rounds. Corbett was younger, faster and his boxing technique enabled him to dodge Sullivan's crouch and rush style. The heavyweight contest occurred under the Marquess of Queensberry rules, but it was neither the first title fight under those rules nor was it the first title fight using boxing gloves. -------------------------- Sullivan is considered the last bare-knuckle champion because no champion after him fought bare-knuckled. However, Sullivan had fought with gloves under the Marquess of Queensberry rules as early as 1880 and he only fought bare knuckle three times in his entire career (Ryan 1882, Mitchell 1888, and Kilrain 1889). His bare-knuckle image was created because both his infrequent fights from 1888 up to the Corbett fight in 1892 had been bare-knuckle.----------------------Sullivan retired to Abington but appeared in several exhibitions over the next 12 years, including a three-rounder against Tom Sharkey and a final two-rounder against Jim McCormick in 1905. He continued his various careers outside boxing such as stage actor, speaker, celebrity baseball umpire, sports reporter, and bar owner. In his later years Sullivan became a teetotaler and often supported the temperance movement. He died of health problems caused by his earlier alcoholism, aged 59, and is buried in the Old Calvary Cemetery in Mattapan, now a neighborhood of Boston.------------------------- * He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, as a member of the hall's original class. He had a record of 35 wins, 1 loss and 2 draws, with 30 wins by knockout, though many sources disagree on his exact record. * He is known to have been an autograph signer, and there are many items including documents and photos known to bear his signature, which are valued in the hundreds of dollars. A photo with a facsimile autograph surfaced decades ago on books, magazines and in novelty stores, and has been widely circulated. * Professional wrestler "Cast-Iron" Cothern has a portrait tattoo of John L. Sullivan on his right arm in tribute to him. * Edward's Steakhouse in El Monte, Ca. serves a large New York Cut steak dinner named after legendary boxer John L. Sullivan. * "The best prizefighter I ever saw"- Rick Hollow
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Product ID: 148775482521574525
Created on: 9/7/2007 3:42 PM
Reference: Guide Files
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